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Flawed Prototype

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"You know those Mark I's, they scraped those bad boys together in fourteen months. Last thing we were thinking about was radiation shielding."
Stacker Pentecost, Pacific Rim

The Flawed Prototype is just that: the first person or machine in a series that also happens to have a flaw or deficiency in its construction or performance. The prototype usually functions, maybe even exceeds expectations, but something just isn't quite right with it. At its most benign, it's "just OK" and is quickly eclipsed by the production models. If it's a machine, maybe it has a design flaw or weak point, it will explode if pushed too far, or has issues with its Power Source. If the prototype is a person, he may risk Heroic RRoD or even a Super-Power Meltdown every time his powers or Super Mode are engaged, have most of the ostensibly "safe" original functions or attacks be Dangerous Forbidden Techniques, require an addictive drug, or have a passive Power Degeneration that will kill him in short order. Or worst, will perform above expectations... and will have also gone insane.


The Flawed Prototype may be a protagonist, antagonist, supporting character, or a MacGuffin. A protagonist who is a Flawed Prototype may be a Phlebotinum Rebel with the unenviable task of taking out his better made brothers, usually he will get the job done because he's Weak, but Skilled. An antagonistic Flawed Prototype is usually a Beta Test Baddie who is jealous of the "perfect" hero, or is a Psycho Prototype who just wants to kill him for the lulz. Most commonly seen as a supporting character, the Flawed Prototype will usually act as a Big Brother Mentor for the hero, helping bail them out while they're learning how to use their abilities but (usually) being unable to help beat the Big Bad. For these reasons, the supporting flawed prototype is usually an Ensemble Dark Horse among fans.

A villain may end up using a Flawed Prototype out of desperation or overeagerness to destroy the hero, despite the warnings of his scientists that it hasn't been properly tested. This usually proves to be his undoing.


If the protagonist is a Science Hero with a suit of Powered Armor or the like, it's not uncommon for them to don an older model if the newer one is damaged or stolen. The hero will usually give it an Ace Custom treatment to help it deal with the threat at hand.

By its nature, this trope also includes a Superior Successor, if not several. However, overlap with Super Prototype is possible, because prototypes seldom have only one significant trait, and a given instance can have both flaws and superiorities. The Phlebotinum Rebel usually is both, with superior abilities but inferior obedience, so it does not carry out the purposes it was made for. Also see Obvious Beta.

Needless to say, this is often Truth in Television, especially compared to Super Prototype — the entire point of building a prototype is to iron out any flaws and/or bugs in the design by making them evident when applying the current design in practice.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Grand Cross (full designation Mobile Battleship Grand Cross) from Bodacious Space Pirates may be an example of this. It is a fearsome foe, utilizing advanced technology beyond what is normally seen in the series, in particular a gravity control device that allows it to zig-zag and move as fast as a fighter. It also has large protective shields, powerful lasers, can unleash a deadly close-range Beam Spam and has an edge in electronic warfare. However after significant displays of power, the ship completely powers down for a short period of time. Also, its shields are not nearly as effective against physical bombardment as they are against beams.
  • Case Closed:
    • APTX 4869, the drug that de-aged Shinichi Kudo and Shiho Miyano and turned them into Conan Edogawa and Ai Haibara, was still incomplete even after Shiho took over as the developer.
    • The antidotes against APTX 4869 are just prototypes and their effects roughly 24 hours, but frequent use right after the original dose drastically shortens the desired effect (in episode 522-523, the second pill worked only for roughly 4 hours). Also, taking the antidote consecutively will cause the body to develop resistance against it.
  • Full Metal Panic!'s ARX-7 Arbalest is equipped with the experimental Lambda Driver before its operation is fully understood: it often doesn't activate when needed, and when it does it tends to operate unstably. This is a serious problem, because the Arbalest and its pilot are pitted against a faction who has a much better understanding of Lambda Driver technology, to the point the main villan can use it with complete reliability. Interestingly, its pilot Sousuke Sagara, a Consummate Professional soldier, frequently expressed distate for the thing because of its unreliability, finding himself unable to trust it and once even writing it off as useless, although he warmed up to it eventually.
  • The Gawain from Code Geass, owing to its being filled with experimental, untested technologies. In specific, it's one of the first mecha in the series to possess Energy Weapons, but their output is extremely finicky and the first couple of times it's used the blast is more like a completely random unfocused shotgun effect. After getting Grand Theft Prototype-ed, Lelouch has it fixed up, turning the cannons into sweeping beams of death, but even then it's still slow as hell and fairly limited in armament; various smaller, faster Knightmare Frames (such as Cornelia's Gloucester and Jeremiah's Siegfried) are able to beat on it easily because of those qualities.
    • From a logistics standpoint, the Lancelot also counts due to its heavy energy consumption and a lack of an ejection seat for the pilot. It's also mentioned that due its acceleration speed it needs a very capable pilot with good reflexes to not crash with the built momentum.
    • The Shinkiro uses a prototype defensive barrier that is capable of deflecting attacks from any angle, but using it well requires a keen mind that can quickly calculate where to set up the barrier around the frame. As a result, the Shinkiro is only truly effective with Lelouch, a prodigal genius, at the helm.
  • Heavy Object:
    • The Tri-Core is considered to be a prototype for Third Generation Objects, having surpassed limits of the Second Generation. However its design had several weaknesses that prevented it from truly excelling and it was destroyed in battle. Despite this the nations are eager to study its design to further their own Third Generation development.
    • The Broad Sky Saber is likely the first true Third Generation Object, having successfully integrated a laser space elevator and satellite into its design. However its paranoid pilot installed a poorly-designed set of safety features which compromised its targeting system. Qwenthur was able to exploit the vulnerabilities this created to make the Saber's satellite gun fire on and destroy the main Object.
    • Multiple prototype war machines are seen in the Northern Restricted Zone, all of which were destroyed in relatively short order by standard units due to significant design failures. The culmination of this is the Wodan, a competitor for the same role as Objects which has the fatal flaw of falling apart when it becomes too hot. All of the flaws were included intentionally; the officers in charge of the Zone know their superiors want the prototypes to fail so that Objects will remain the dominant force on the battlefield, so they intentionally design faulty weapons.
  • From the Gundam franchise:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam:
      • The original Gundam was flawed partially in the fact it was a Super Prototype, it was designed to be more of a Mighty Glacier with heavy, expensive armor and had too many features that had to be removed for the GM mass production model. It turned out that Amuro's burgeoning Ace Pilot skills was putting extra strain on the machine (it couldn't keep up with him) and was wearing out much faster than it should have. An upgrade made at Federation headquarters Jaburo gave the Gundam magnetic joints that increased response time with less friction.
      • The Zeong from is only 80% complete when it's introduced (it's missing its legs). Since Char ends up piloting it in a space battle, however, the difference is merely cosmetic.
      • The GM Cannon Test Type is a prototype for mass produced GM Cannon, it is essentially a normal GM with a Guncannon's head and two extra shoulder cannons. It doesn't take a huge guess to realize that the normal GM is too light for the shoulder cannons. The Earth Federation has to resort to rebalance the topweight of the GM and take away one of the two cannons, leading to the creation of GM Cannon, and its heavy armored dual cannons successor, the GM Cannon II, which comes with the very same Chobham Armor used by Gundam Alex as well as two mounted beam cannons fed by two large drum-like E-Caps on the backpack.
      • The Gyan was eventually rejected because, while it was a powerful design at close range, it had no ranged attacks whatsoever. The Gyan's supporters had expected that it would be supported by Doms in combat, but the Principality of Zeon instead chose to go with the Gelgoog, a reliable Jack-of-All-Stats design that was even more powerful than the Gundam itself.
      • The Guntank can't aim its cannons horizontally, because its can't turn the torso due to the Core Block system comprised of the Driver/Pilot's Core Fighter for the torso. The mass production model fixed this easily by simply by getting rid of the Core Fighter component for a traditional torso system with rotational capabilities, and the latter RMV-1 Guntank II mass production model further enhances it by making an enlarged head turret mount for the twin 120mm cannons, allowing it to carry heavier weapons on it's arms, and lower hull.
      • The Zakrello, one of Zeon's first attempts to make mobile armors, was deemed a failure early into its development due to its immense speed and acceleration, but lack of agility. It was loaded onto Char's Zanzibar to be scrapped, but its test pilot Dimitri sortied with it on his own to avenge his superior Tokwan. Predictably, its glaring flaws made it perform poorly in battle and the Gundam quickly destroyed it after a brief skirmish.
    • The Apsalus project from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team was one big work in progress. Its major goal was to be able to fly from Southeast Asia to Jaburo in South America by flying into the atmosphere and descending once arriving and obliterating the Federation's hidden base with a mega particle cannon.
      • The first Apsalus was only outfitted with the Minovsky Craft System to test its flight capabilities. The system ended up malfunctioning and landing in Federation-controlled territory where the 08th MS Team attacked it. It was able to escape, but needed repairs.
      • The second Apsalus, Apsalus II, was outfitted with the mega particle cannon, but using both proved to be a drain, requiring the final unit, the Apsalus III, to be outfitted with two Minovsky Craft Systems, three Rick Dom engines and a massive expansion to its body.
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
      • The Gundam Mark II was an updating of the original Gundam but was mostly a testbed for the moveable frame technology. Unfortunately, while that technology was a huge success and lead to the Mid-Season Upgrade Zeta Gundam, it was otherwise just an update of the original Gundam and the Lensman Arms Race was not as far behind as in the original series.
      • The Hyaku-Shiki was originally called the "Delta Gundam", and was Anaheim Electronics' first attempt at building a transforming mobile suit. They could never get the transformation working properly though, so the mobile suit was left as a solid but overall pretty unremarkable design on par with the Gundam Mk II. Anaheim eventually succeeded with their next attempt, the Zeta Gundam. The original design was later revisited with the "Delta Plus", an upgraded version with a working transformation system based on the lessons they'd learned from the Zeta.
      • The Zeta Gundam is a Super Prototype designed for one of the most powerful Newtypes of the Gryps Conflict. The flaw is in the latter area; pilots like Roux Louka without the Super Reflexes of the top-level Newtype pilots are shown having trouble keeping up with the suit's speed and transformation systems. It also doesn't help that Kamille Bidan tuned the stupid thing for him and him alone that not even Judau Ashta, who is a much stronger Newtype than Kamille, couldn't even make it do the miracles it did under Kamille's control.
      • On the subject of the Zeta, there's its mass-produced attempts. While the Zeta Plus line was a success, the Federation wanted something cheaper and had the Re-GZ built. But its attempts to cut costs via the Back Weapon System just made the thing way too complicated to even bother mass-producing. They would end up using the Re-ZEL, which drew its inspiration from the failed successor to the Zeta Gundam, the ZII.
    • The ZZ Gundam is structurally very weak thanks to its transformation/combination system; eventually it was given a Full Armor upgrade mainly so it wouldn't just break to pieces if hit in the right spot. On top of that, its hi-mega cannon has incredible output, but completely drains the ZZ when used.
      • Speaking of the Full Armor upgrade, its test unit, the FAZZ from Gundam Sentinel, is this as while it was a test unit, it was rushed out just to test the parts. It has no anti-beam defenses, its two major beam weapons are dummies and its Beam Cannons don't double as Hyper Beam Sabers. This last one is what hurts it as all three prototypes are destroyed by the Gundam Mk-V.
    • The titular Mobile Suit of Mobile Suit Moon Gundam started life as the Varguil, a Neo Zeon prototype Newtype MS that would lead to the Sazabi. Sadly, the suit didn't work at all as its pilot couldn't even get its funnels to work and ended up just throwing the entire rack at an opponent. It wasn't until Neo Zeon attached the head of the Psycho Gundam Mk-IV "G-DOORS" that it became a fearsome unit.
    • The Nu Gundam, despite being awesome, is actually an incomplete prototype rushed out due to the urgency of the situation; as a result, the fin funnels are literally just slapped on the back and the psychoframe was installed but not fully integrated. The novel Beltorchika's Children shows the completed Nu (more commonly known as the Hi-Nu Gundam), which is superior in every area, including having dedicated mounting racks for the funnels that let them recharge.
      • Later series gives us the Mass Produced Nu Gundam, which was meant to be used by both Newtypes and Oldtypes with the help of Mecha Expansion Pack, either Fin Funnels or INCOMs. Very few are built, most of which is because the Quasi-Psycommu still isn't perfect and naturally born Newtypes are extremely rare.
    • The titular Gundam of Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, the RX-9 Narrative Gundam, was designed to be a prototype of the Nu Gundam above, but since it was designed for just testing out the Psycoframe, it wasn't even fully built, leaving its upper arms, thighs and torso uncovered. Only with the usage of the various Mecha Expansion Pack that it was given did the suit become better.
    • The Tallgeese of Gundam Wing was built extremely high-spec; so high, in fact, that it killed anyone who tried piloting it thanks to its murderous acceleration. When Zechs Merquise pulls it out of the mothballs fifteen years later, it gives him a heart attacknote  on his first sortie.
      • Likewise the Wing Gundam Zero, arguably the most powerful machine in the series. And all thanks to its mental interface program known as the ZERO System, which gives the pilot a neuropathic link to the Gundam and allows for speed-of-thought reactions. It does come at a hefty price: if the pilot has anything less than absolutely perfect focus, it overloads his brain and drives him mad. It also suffers from Crippling Overspecialization — its primary weapon, is massively overpowered whilst its secondaries (its shoulder-mounted Gatling guns and a pair of beam sabers) are a bit underpowered, which can be a bit of a problem if one is not trying to destroy everything in sight. Which is unfortunately the exact thing any pilot unable to handle the ZERO System will be driven to attempt.
    • The Zudah from MS Igloo competed with the Zaku I to be Zeon's mainline mecha. While all-around a superior machine, its engine tends to produce vibrations that shake the machine to pieces when overexerted, meaning it was passed over.
    • Many Mobile Suit Variants tend to be this. Among those, the Gundam GP00 "Blossom" (precursor to the Gundams from Stardust Memory) tried to do everything well all at once and as a result had extremely poor balance. Likewise the Prototype Gundam Mk-II, which was utterly overpowered, had poor aiming skills and cost as much to make as a battleship.
    • The 0 Gundam has extremely limited weapons (just a beam rifle and beam saber) as well as a faulty GN drive socket, resulting in massive particle leakage that resembles phoenix wings. Its in-show successor, the 00 Gundam, initially has problems synchronizing two Drives to work together without interference from each other that tends to cause trouble when using Trans-Am (and even getting it to function at all required a compatible pair of Drives; it was lucky that two out of the five in existence turned out to be compatible because it would've taken several years and a round trip to Jupiter to make another one), but this is later fixed with the GN-Raiser unit.
      • Graham Aker's Custom Flag from the same series is effectively an Expy of the Tallgeese (see above); insanely over-spec, but at Graham's request it completely lacks any safety features. The first time he uses it, he does manage to square off with the Gundam Exia on equal footing, but ends up coughing up blood from the G-forces its acceleration puts on his body.
      • The mass produced GN Drive [T]note  are also faulty: they lack the filter found in the true GN Drives, meaning they emit toxic radiation; one person who survives an attack by a Tau-drive mobile suit is told that medical science can't regrow her lost hand because of this. The final mass-produced version in the second season corrects this flaw. The Tau drives also lack the true GN Drives' ability to perpetually recharge GN Particles, and will run out and shut down; while a mobile suit equipped with a true GN Drive has effectively unlimited operating time. It reveals another flaw, in that when it's own version of Trans-Am is used. Unlike a True GN drive's Trans-Am, which just simply removes the limit on how much particles the Gundam's systems can draw from it's storage tank, (and leaving the Gundam's output somewhat lowered afterwards while it recharges those particle tanks), a Tau Drive's Trans-Am is more of an Overdrive that pushes it beyond it's recommended limits. When it's Trans-Am runs out, the drive is damaged beyond battle use until overhauled back at it's base, limiting the pilot to emergency reserve power. Pushed even further, and well the mobile suit tends to explode spectacularly, though it is used latter on in desperation by pilots for the purpose of Taking You with Me.
    • Very briefly, the G-Series Mobile Suits of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and the Astray series of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray were this: The Earth Alliance had absolutely no idea how to make an OS for Naturals and neither did ORB. Kira and the Le Creuset Team rewrote their OS on the flynote  and Lowe Guele used his new AI computer, 8, to get them to work. Ultimately, both the EA and ORB used Kira's handiwork to make all of their suits work, with Lowe also providing ORB with assistance behind the scenes.
      • The Earth Alliance didn't learn their lesson afterwards. Following the Battle of JOSH-A, they launched their first contingent of GAT-01 Strike Dagger units. Sadly, no one bothered to make sure they were properly shielded and all of them were wiped out when ZAFT fired its Gunginr EMP device. This was followed by the creation of the Forbidden Blue Mobile Suit, an aquatic variant of the dangerous Forbidden Gundam. It worked wonders, but the only thing protecting the pilot from the crushing depths of the ocean is the Trans-Phase Shift Armor and when that goes... The later Deep Forbidden fixed this by reinforcing the cockpit with titanium.
      • The "Biological CPU" program started with the Boosted Men, also known as the Pre-Extendeds, comprised of Clotho Buer, Orga Sabnak, and Shani Andras, a trio of Psycho Prototype Super Soldiers made to kill Coordinators in combat (and damn near capable of it, too). The problem? Their abilities came from brain surgery and massive amounts of combat drugs, making them mentally unstable, violent, and fatally addicted. They were required to be dosed on the drugs twelve times a day just to keep their central nervous systems from collapsing like jelly in a hot bath. By comparison, the later Extendeds were altered by mental conditioning, brainwashing, Training from Hell and smaller doses of surgery and drugs. The net result was that while the Extendeds weren't quite as powerful in combat as the Boosted Men, they could at least fake normality and were less likely to have their neurons self-destruct in the middle of a mission.
    • Gundam: Reconguista in G has the G-Arcane, Ameria's attempt to make a Gundam unit out of incomplete blueprints. It's severely below spec compared to the G-Self, plus it's outfitted with anti-ship weaponry that's worse than useless in mobile suit combat because it can't hit fast-moving targets and it's so cumbersome that trying to aim gives enemy units time to knock it all over the place. Aida has a lot of trouble making it useful until she gets her hands on a Mid-Season Upgrade and starts playing to the Arcane's actual abilities instead of trying to use it like a typical mobile suit. It's especially noteworthy when compared to the sleek, deadly G-Lucifer, which is what the Arcane is supposed to look like.
  • The main girls in Gunslinger Girl are the first generation of cyborgs and thus exhibit certain flaws in their functioning, most notably the symptoms of conditioning poisoning that affect them all to varying degrees. The conditioning drugs used on the girls to heal them from injuries and keep them functional slowly destroy their minds over time. When the second generation of cyborgs is introduced, it's explicitly mentioned that they made the conditioning milder in the hopes that the new girls will be able to live longer.
    • Angelica is the best example, being the very first cyborg made. When the story opens, she is already so forgetful and frail that her ability to go on missions with the other girls is limited, and she's often forced to stay out of the action. She eventually forgets almost everything from her life at the Agency, including her handler once she's near death.
    • Petra, the first cyborg of the second generation, shows this to a degree as well. Despite the milder conditioning, the Agency also instills in the new girls a firm sense that they can never disobey her handler. As a result of this, when Sandro orders Petra to insult him, Petra becomes dizzy and starts vomiting from the effort.
  • The Lost Numbers in Guyver are failed Zoanoids; they have useful powers and abilities, but recreating them is impossible and they're biologically sterile. They had a driving force to prove themselves as valuable, having neither the dignity of being human or the pride of a normal Zoanoid.
  • Surprisingly the Super Prototype 3rd generation Byakkushiki from Infinite Stratos counts as this since as stated by Chifuyu it has a very powerful weapon, but it doesn't have enough energy to sustain it. Not to mention so far that all of Ichika's battles consists of Guns vs. Swords.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, we have the first viable product of Project F, Fate Testarossa. Although a viable clone, in that she had a healthy body and retained the memories of her original, she developed her own personality rather than the personality of her original (as well as minor issues like being right-handed when the original was left-handed), and so was considered a failure. In terms of magical ability, she was actually superior to the original, though. Later clones of the same technology do not have this issue, and appear to be perfect copies of the originals.
  • The X-Aestivalis from Martian Successor Nadesico was this. An Aestivalis armed with a Gravity Blast Cannon normally reserved for capital ships, Urubitake deemed it a failure because it would destroy itself if it actually tried to charge the power needed to fire it... which it promptly does when a drug-crazed admiral takes it and attempts to fire on another ship with it.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • EVA Unit-00, identified as the prototype, supposedly has multiple flaws in its operation, from having minor synchronisation issues to going berserk in an activation test and nearly killing Rei. After these issues are worked out for Rei, it still goes berserk when Shinji attempts to operate the EVA. Unfortunately, that still doesn't save it from Rei triggering its self-destruct sequence.
    • Unit-01 is a "test type", somewhere in between a prototype and a production model. It's quite a lot more stable than 00, but has its own unique bugs.
    • In episode 23, we're finally shown the failed Evangelion prototypes developed prior to Unit-00, stored in what is essentially an Evangelion graveyard. The depiction differs between the original version and the Director's Cut but the verdict is the same: at least fifty prototypes were rejected before Unit-00 finally passed. It's hard to decide which version is worse: the Director's Cut for the pile of giant skeletons haphazardly dumped into a series of pits like garbage or the original where the bodies are laid out to show their various deformities: one doesn't have arms, just a spine and legs; another has a tail instead of legs or pelvis, etc. In any case, we get another scene in End of Evangelion when over a dozen five-eyed Unit-00 helmets with their spines hanging out of the bottom are piled on a rack helmet-to-helmet, many having a large red FAILED stamp on them.
  • One Piece
    • The Rocketman is a prototype sea train that was too fast to control, meaning it was put aside in favor of the Puffing Tom. Kokoro and Iceberg put it to use when the Straw Hats need to catch up with the Puffing Tom, since the Rocketman is the only other sea train available.
    • SMILES are an attempt to create artificial Zoan-type Devil Fruits that can be mass produced. To call them "flawed" is an understatement. 90% of all SMILES grant no powers, but afflict their consumer with two permanent curses; the Super Drowning Skills that plague all Devil Fruit users, and an inability to express any emotion other than smiles and laughter. With the other 10%, the consumer gets to roll on a Superpower Russian Roulette where they will, at best, get a lame knock-off version of the normal Zoan's Animorphism, and more likely suffer all manner of animal-related Body Horror, up to and including gaining a fully sentient animal as either a conjoined twin or a replacement for a limb. The lucky ones just get permanent mutations, which may or may not come with the Required Secondary Powers needed to use them effectively.
  • Suigintou of Rozen Maiden, the first doll and main antagonist of the first season, is short her torso. Her father never finished her, moving on to the next doll early, leading to certain personality problems.
  • Likewise, the prototype Me-262 Jet Striker from the second season of Strike Witches. Powerful, but too dangerous for most Witches to use safely.
  • HMX-12 Multi, the Robot Girl in To Heart, is an experimental maid robot who is not very good with any chores given to her. Her successor HMX-13 Serio is superior in every way. (Mostly. Multi is able to express and understand a range of emotions while Serio cannot, which makes her popular with the few students she interacted with.)
  • The first forms of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Duel Disks were large, clunky devices with a decidedly inconvenient form factor and a lot of odd little quirks — they even required you to ''throw' them like disks, hence the name. What was more, due to their generally strange operating parameters, they couldn't actually play the standard game, since they could only project one monster at a time and required the user to place all cards that'd normally go in their hand into the device. It's unclear how much of these issues are intentional, since Kaiba seems to view their clunky and unintuitive nature as a boon (it means his opponents need time to figure out just how to use them correctly), with several features designed explicitly to counter Pegasus. If so, it backfired, because Pegasus used their inconvenience to justify one of his crueler gambits. Either way, though, when Kaiba built them for mass-production, he ironed out almost all of the above flaws — they were more compact, could play the standard game, and lacked the weird gimmicks of the original.

    Comic Books 
  • In Aquablue, in addition to their regular "exo-tanks", the Legion has brought some prototype walkers for field-testing, and the general explains this practice helped eliminate some flaws in an earlier generation. The most notable "flaw" in these ones is that since they're not field-testing weapons yet, they only carry props.
  • A while back, Marvel established that Steve Rogers was actually the second Captain America. Another more aggressive soldier, Pvt. Clinton McIntyre, was treated with the Super Serum the night before Steve received it. The general in charge did it because he didn't think the scrawny Steve Rogers was Super Soldier material. The soldier went insane since he wasn't treated with Vita-Rays like Steve. He was put in cold sleep until A.I.M. woke him up and cured him of his insanity decades later. As Protocide, he initially tried to kill Cap because he was brainwashed into believing that Captain America, supposedly his wartime partner, had betrayed him and left him for dead. Protocide eventually realizes that Cap is too good a person to have done that, and in his last appearance saves Steve's life before leaving for parts unknown.
    • The miniseries Truth: Red, White & Black introduced Isaiah Bradley, the sole survivor of a battalion of black soldiers who were administered a recreated version of the Super-Soldier Serum. He only served in one major mission and was promptly imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth for decades for "desertion". It's unclear whether his current disabilities, similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer's and steroid abuse, are a result of an unstable super-soldier formula or his treatment at Leavenworth. The story reads like he is in fact the human guinea pig for Steve's serum, with the racist US Army spending many "more disposable" black lives before giving the serum to a white man, and this was originally the author's intention. However, Marvel backtracked, so the story begins in 1942 after Pearl Harbor while canonically Steve was already Cap by then, and this is acknowledged in-universe.
  • The Clone Saga infamously revealed that Ben Reilly was not the first clone of Spider-Man. Instead, it was Kaine, a psychotic, deformed clone with the powers of Spidey cranked Up to Eleven.
  • In the Post-Crisis DC Universe, the first two Bizarros were clones of Superman who were slowly crumbling due to their creators' inexperience with Kryptonian DNA. When Cadmus attempted to clone Superman following his death, they ended up mixing it with human DNA to get the person who'd be Superboy, but only got it right on their 13th try, leaving 12 "failed" clones in storage including another bizzaro clone.
  • It's probably easy to say that a lot of Tony Stark's armors fit into this category. His original armor was too bulky, nearly killing him when he was possessed by a voodoo practitioner, and another armor proved to be susceptible to control by Ultron. This is a result of his tendency to immediately attempt to use a new suit in the field as soon as he completes it, without bothering to properly test it first (In Tony's defence, this is mainly because most of his new suits are created to immediately stop whatever threat destroyed or damaged their predecessor, giving him very little time to test the suits before his foe causes more damage).
  • Valentine Romanov in Nikolai Dante was the first to get a weapons crest, and is horribly scarred and mentally disturbed as a result. The rest got off pretty easy.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), the first Metal Sonic, Pseudo Sonic, wasn't as fast as his later counterparts and was actually prone to being disabled by static electricity.
  • The Transformers Megaseries: Monstructor, Jhiaxus's attempt at making a combiner, who has the teeny, tiny little flaw of being completely insane. Jhiaxus doesn't see what's wrong with this.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Dr. Lazarus is trying to develop Hard Light constructs with an artificial intelligence, and while he's succeeded they're physically unstable and prone to exploding upon physical contact. He never perfects the prototype because he goes a bit mad after his son is killed in such an explosion.
  • A recurring plot point in Green Lantern is that the Guardians went through a lot of prototypes to the Lantern Rings before perfecting the technology. The first ones didn't have batteries or safeties, running the risk of overcharging on their wielder's own willpower to the point of critical meltdown and blowing them up. Two later models were intended to tap into the full emotional spectrum; one constantly switched spectrum based on user mood and still inevitably overloaded while the other possessed the wielder with a mind of its own and was driven to replicate and take over more people. Another ring, this one managing to channel the full spectrum as white light, Batman encountered had a faulty AI and trapped the user's mind within it.

  • Boldores And Boomsticks: Ruby gives Casey and Lillie mock-ups of their weapons to practice with. Due to her inexperience, Casey's High Voltage Enhanced Impactor isn't insulated properly, and Lillie's Tricked-Out Gloves can only make a tiny force field.
  • Digimon: Children of Time: It's revealed in Children of the Present chapter 14 that Takuya, Sora, Kouichi, Kristy, Henry, and Kari were all experimented on with prototypes of the Dark Spore, all of which were failures in some form: Kari suffered a weakened immune system, thus explaining why she was sick so much as a child, and Takuya, Sora, Kouichi, and Kristy only received half of the effects (Takuya and Sora excelling in sports while Kristy and Kouichi excelled in academics). Henry was the last test subject before Ken, and implanted with a near-perfect example of the spore, except he was able to control the spore without getting corrupted; however, when he was first experimented on with the spore, he flew into an Unstoppable Rage and destroyed the facility where they were manufactured.
  • Empath in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf is seen as this in the eyes of other Psyches, since they are forbidden to see him as the "savage" Species 0002 (Smurfs) that he belongs to, but rather as a "prototype Psyche". The only "flaw" that he has are emotions.
  • Luna in Legacy considers herself this, unable to live up to the task she was born for, unlike her younger sister, Diana. Realizing she will never be good enough causes her to run away, and gets her straight to the Arena... where she's forced to become a warrior rivaling her aunt (who was the most vocal about her being too weak) if she wants to live.
  • Marionettes:
    • The G1 Marionettes. Unlike the current model, they lacked mithril armor and the mana engines hadn't been invented yet. As such, they were far less durable and needed manual recharging. Trixie's original form, G1T01, was built to be a rival to humble Sunset Shimmer, but, while extremely powerful, these design flaws meant she could never truly rival her.
    • The G2 Marionettes have the above power flaw (though somewhat remedied by a Mana Compressor), but have an additional one created by trying to fix the durability flaw: they're made of steel and thus extremely heavy, with their metal plating alone weighing over three hundred pounds. As a result, their ability to pass as normal ponies was hampered and the Stallions had to perform mind wipes when one so much as stepped on a scale. However, Teddy and Ace, the two G2 Marionettes the heroes reactivate, find out ways to turn this design flaw into an advantage by putting that extra weight to good use in combat.
    • The G4 Marionettes, while far superior to their predecessors, still have a big design flaw: their mana engine generates too much heat and they need to drink cold fluids to prevent from overheating. This flaw was fixed with the G5 Marionettes and Twilight manages to fix it with Trixie and Lightning Dust.
    • The Puppeteer, a suit of Marionette based Powered Armor Masquerade uses to fight Trixie in the Final Battle is a dangerous, untested prototype. While durable and strong enough to survive combat with Celestia, it puts extreme strain on the user and limits their mobility due to the bulk. It's BFS is also too large to be practical indoors. By the time Trixie destroys it, the strain combined with her injuries leaves Masquerade barely able to move and her horn cracked.
    • Miss Marshmallow, Masquerade's Marionette maid/body guard, runs on the prototype Mana Engine because its output is considerably higher than the later models to the point of being impractical for any Marionette not filled with weapons like her. However, due to this it's heating problem is also far more severe than her fellow Marionettes to the point her 'all weapons deployed' mode has to have the Proto Mana Engine exposed (protected by a forcefield just to avoid overheating.
  • The first mirror portal created by Star Swirl the Bearded is treated as one of these in the Quiververse. Each subsequent mirror, including the Crystal Mirror, was made to correct the flaws. None have quite managed to do so.
  • The initial verson of Naruto's chakra blade kunais in Son of the Sannin had a chakra consumption rate far too high for anyone but him to use in battle. It isn't until Jiraiya helps him refine the design that others are able to use them.
  • When Defiant uses his Tinker power to analyze the prototype Atlesian Paladin in Tattered Capes Under a Shattered Moon it responds by pointing out a slew of flaws before he blocks it out, like the vulnerable antenna and the poor fuel delivery system.
  • The first combat deployment of a Trans-Orbital Strike Taurus in Wings to Fly is ended when the mobile suit's thruster system fries itself. It has to be carried back to the ship by another suit.

  • Inspector Gadget was stated to be one of these in the second movie.
    Baxter: Well, you're the prototype Gadget, Gadget. There are bound to be a few glitches.
  • The Iron Man series reflects the comics in that Tony's Powered Armor is functionally in Perpetual Beta, he is always trying to work out new technology and more advanced systems. The end result is certain armors have rudimentary features that don't work quite as well as it will further down the line.
    • The Mark II armor in the first film. It could fly, but it had an issue with icing up at high altitudes. This was rectified in the Mark III. Obadiah Stane's Iron Monger armor, being a scaled-up copy of the even-earlier Mark I, has the same icing problem without Stane knowing it, which Tony exploited when fighting his former mentor. The armor is also primarily a flight test, and had no known weaponry besides the repulsors. This armor was later confiscated by the air force and remade into the War Machine armor.
    • A series of clips in Iron Man 2 show that while lots of people are trying to make their own Iron Man suits, every model built by anyone not named Stark or Vanko is flawed to the point of being utterly useless at best.
    • Extremis in Iron Man 3 has the ability to fully heal people's injuries and missing limbs with the side effect of potentially being a walking bomb. Because it was developed by the bad guys, they decide that's actually pretty useful.
    • After the events of The Avengers (2012), Tony ended up suffering from PTSD and began making dozens of armors without proper field testing. The armor he last fought in was the Mark VII. Just a few months later he was testing out Mark 42. Most of the ones in-between were specialty armors with specific purposes such as an anti-Thor armor. The Mark 42, nicknamed "Prodigal Son", was designed for rapid deployment. It was capable of breaking apart into several pieces which would fly out to reform around the user. The basic premise worked fine, but the key problem was that the armor would come apart too easily, not just when commanded to do so. The armor was also capable of remote control, but was even more fragile in that mode. Other problems included unstable power sources and inactive weapons and flight systems. When attacked by the bad guys, he was able to suit up just fine, but was forced to improvise projectiles while running tests on the armor's systems mid-battle. The same features were seen in his Avengers: Age of Ultron armor but with all the kinks worked out.
  • Jurassic Park, once the power goes out.
    Hammond: When they opened Disneyland in 1955, nothing worked!
    Malcolm: Yeah, but John, when the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists!
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a dinosaur version in the Indoraptor, who aside from being a monstrous sadist due to imprisonment, abuse, and a lack of social interaction, is also suffering from genetic conditions. Wu hoped to perfect his design by having Blue raise the next generation of Indoraptors, but never gets the chance.
  • The original Jaegers in Pacific Rim were designed with a single pilot in mind using a Brain–Computer Interface, but the strain was far too great for one pilot. Thus a neural bridge technology was developed to allow two pilots to work as a single mind and share the load. The early Jaeger models did not have much shielding on their nuclear power plants, meaning all pilots received high doses of radiation and many of them had to retire due to radiation poisoning.
  • Murphy ended up being a Super Prototype for the RoboCop program, as in RoboCop 2, further attempts to replicate him ended poorly. Most of them killed themselves immediately upon activation. The ED-209, which preceded him, was even more of a Flawed Prototype, being so laden with design issues that its Disastrous Demonstration ended with it gunning down an executive. Even then, the Attorney General authorizes the sale of the ED-209 in major cities despite widespread complaints of malfunctions from police forces, with a news report showing one trapped by an open manhole, and in the third film, ED-209's AI is easily hacked by a child. Apparently, OCP didn't care about fixing these flaws despite complaints.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture featured the Enterprise receiving a massive refit to the original Constitution-class design. Cosmetically, it came with entirely new nacelles, nacelle pylons and deflector dish. Internally, the ship was practically gutted and all the systems reworked. The result was a more modern ship, but it needed some work before being deployed on any mission. Its first jump to warp ended up creating an unstable wormhole, and an asteroid was drawn in with them. Because the engines were imbalanced, the phasers were automatically disabled, so they had to fire photon torpedoes instead. A lot of the problems they encountered were due to the fact that the ship was rushed out due to the threat of V'Ger approaching Earth, and thus its systems had to be tested on the fly.
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock had the USS Excelsior, a new class of starship. It was said to be outfitted with a Transwarp Drive system, which theoretically meant that the Excelsior could fly faster beyond than what the Enterprise had achieved. However, the Excelsior would get sabotaged by Scotty so Kirk and the others could steal the Enterprise and proceeded to spend about a decade in drydock afterwards until Captain Hikaru Sulu got it around the time of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. A line in Star Trek: The Next Generation suggests that this was a complete failure. Despite the failure of Transwarp, once outfitted with conventional engines the Excelsior class of ships became the backbone of Starfleet for many decades.

  • The Cobra Trilogy novels by Timothy Zahn revolve around cybernetically enhanced soldiers — and the implants cannot be removed. Late in the book, the main character finds there are certain side effects to the technology being inside someone for a long time, like arthritis, anemia, various other health problems. As the Cobras are also given pre-programmed self-defense capabilities, if one ever even THINKS they're being attacked by someone, they will respond with potentially deadly force without even considering it. It ends up getting a couple of civilian teenagers killed after they play chicken with an unwitting Cobra, and get their tires shot out by lasers.
  • The Cosmere:
    • In Warbreaker, Nightblood is an intelligent sword, the first of its kind, Awakened with the command "destroy evil." Not only does a sword have no idea what evil is, it drains the user's magic while being wielded, and will eventually kill them if not sheathed. Per Word of God, it's actually very similar to a Shardblade from The Stormlight Archive; Shardblades, while a bit weaker, don't require magic to function, and there's no danger of them killing their wielders.
    • More directly in The Stormlight Archive are the Honorblades. They are the original weapons granted by the Almighty to his Heralds, and provide their wielders with access to two Surges (sets of powers, like gravity control or healing) each. However, while the Blade itself does not require Stormlight to function, the Surges need far more than what a natural Surgebinder would use. Furthermore, since Shardblades are the physical forms of bonded spren while Honorblades are just dumb objects, they do not have the same behavioral checks as normal Surgebinders. If a Windrunner stops protecting people, he loses his powers. If someone wielding the Windrunner Honorblade assassinates hundreds of people, the only thing that will hurt is his own conscience.
    • In Oathbringer, "Azure" is shown to have a later iteration of the Nightblood technique. While not quite as powerful as Nightblood, it doesn't need to feed on Investiture to function.
  • In Kieran Shea's Koko (a.k.a EBK book series), at the insistence of his personal Psycho for Hire Borrar, President Mercao of the SAC (South American Coalition) buys prototype "pepper muzzled" Heckler & Koch pulse pistols. Even though the gun are only in beta stage, Borrar wants them because their baseline are far beyond any pistol on the market and that's on the normal settings. When the pepper muzzle is engaged, the shot is split into three separate bolts at no loss of energy. The primary bolts shoot straight from the barrel while the secondary shots come out at its sides. These secondary shots are heat-seeking and will converge on the primary shot to do far greater damage than normal. However the "pepper" mode can only be done safely 3 times in succession, President Mercao ignores the warning and goes for another shot, which causes the gun to explode in his hand and melt off a few fingers.
  • Forest Kingdom: Used in a few installments of the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series.
    • In Book 3 (The God Killer), Bode's homicidal first homunculus is one, and he admits to having made some mistakes in its creation.
    • The anti-magic suppressor stones that were handed out at one point were later shown to be faulty and placed under a recall, as mentioned in Book 4 (Wolf in the Fold) — some of them had a habit of exploding. Hawk and Fisher weaponize this when they let theirs explode in the hands of the enemy sorcerer Grimm.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in all its various incarnations: Marvin the perpetually depressed android.
    Marvin: "Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities", they said. So they tried it out with me. I'm a personality prototype. You can tell, can't you?
  • The H-1 hybrid fighter from Independence Day: Crucible. After the events of the film, humanity begins to salvage the surviving alien ships and apply their technology. However, despite numerous warnings from David Levinson, the prototype is rushed to a test flight in front of the general public, and Steven Hiller is killed flying it.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, it's a characterization point that Yuuka bought one of the first thought-operated CADs on the market. Of course, various bugs make it less functional than the manual, well-refined CADs everyone else is using, but Yuuka is impulsive and wants to look cool.
  • In Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human a strange man known as "Lone" assembles children with super-normal powers, attempting to build "Homo Gestalt" with himself as the head. But he knows that his cannot do it. Eventually he finds a replacement that can do the job.
  • In Paranoia, Golddust, the fictional wifi-like technology in the book, is noted for being heavily flawed compared to wifi, and has no market potential, until Adam is able to find one for the product via military applications.
  • In The Titan's Curse, the third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the main characters eventually find themselves in the junkyard of the gods, full of things thrown away specifically because they were flawed prototypes. However, they accidentally awaken a flawed prototype of Talos (a giant bronze guardian, essentially) that nearly ends up killing them all. Bianca sacrifices herself to destroy it.
  • Raising Steam: Simnel builds several boilers with the express purpose of overstraining them until they explode to learn about their limits. The actual train is a constantly-upgraded Super Prototype.
  • In Starcraft One People One Purpose, the devices Lantharis built to reconnect the Protoss to a Khala-analogue are extremely crude, and dangerous as a result; a malfunction either causes unbearable agony on the part of the user to the point they might attempt to claw it off (and thus risk bleeding themselves out) just to end the painful ordeal (Eranis perished this way), or cause a dangerous and lethal energy feedback (Therun perished this way). Karax is horrified at this when he finishes examining them; such devices should be in the simulator, not be implemented in general use — unless there was a desperate, immediate need to do so, and those desperate times were supposed to be over.
  • Star Wars Legends: Galaxy of Fear: Army of Terror had the Big Bad bring out Eppon, genuinely the first of his army of Ultimate Life Forms and vulnerable to Defusing The Tykebomb. But, knowing his creation could turn on him, he implanted Eppon's head with a bomb.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sarah Corvus in the 2007 Bionic Woman. Her bionics are malfunctioning and she wants to steal Jaime's. Yes, they decided to start with the Evil Counterpart plot...
  • Family Matters tended to use these for comedy in various Cold Open sequences. Steve Urkel would inevitably bring one in to test (with Carl Winslow the unwilling test subject more often than not) and no matter how sound the premise, it would inevitably malfunction and cause bodily harm, property damage, a mess, or some combination thereof.
  • This appears to be the case in The Invisible Man series in a episode where Darien keeps seeing another invisible man in his UV sight and assumes it's the previous test subject who has gone permanently invisible. Subverted when his boss wakes up and reveals that he personally shot the previous test subject, who tried to kill him, and had the same gland put into Darien. Darien was simply seeing RNA-induced hallucinations. Of course, if you consider the bigfoot gland to be the prototype, then that could still qualify.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider 555: The Delta Driver is a Super Prototype in many ways compared to the later Faiz and Kaixa Drivers, since it doesn't feature the deliberately engineered flaw of slowly killing the user, but instead it has the accidental defect of causing its user to become addicted to using it, turning them into a Blood Knight. It's also more powerful than its successors, but doesn't have any additional powers besides brute strength.
    • Kamen Rider Double: The Lost Driver is a prototype of the Double Driver that only requires one wearer instead of two performing a Fusion Dance, but only has a slot for a single Gaia Memory, giving the resulting hero only half of the superpowers and physical strength that the Double Driver does.
    • Kamen Rider Drive: Drive's predecessor, Proto-Drive, could defeat Roidmudes in combat but couldn't destroy their energy-based cores, meaning they could just regenerate until he was overwhelmed. In the movie Kamen Rider Drive Surprise Future, Shinnosuke loses access to his usual equipment and has to use an even less refined prototype than Proto-Drive had. It nearly gets him killed due to the various flaws, especially considering the more futuristic technology he's facing off against.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: The Proto Gashats supposedly have limitless potential, but they're unsafe for human usage: even a compatible user will suffer life-threatening damage and permanent disfigurement from repeated use. Only Bugsters, living computer programs, can safely use Proto Gashats to transform. They also serve as the Soul Jar for everyone killed by the Bugster Virus.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One: The Force Riser is a model directly based on the early prototypes of the show's more refined Zero-One Driver. It works well enough, even if it lacks the vast majority of the latter's functions, but it is also both heavily straining to activate and uncalibrated for human users. Androids suffer when using it, and regular humans suffer a lot. Its flawed prototype status is even built into its aesthetics: any Rider form obtained from it looks like it was cobbled out of scrap metal and held together with cables.
    • Kamen Rider Revice: While most of the Rider gear is created by Fenix, there's a rival organization called Weekend also interested in helping the Riders; and Weekend's creations tend to be less refined. For one, the Libera Driver is a flawed prototype of the main Fenix-made Revice Driver. Both allow the user to transform into a superhero while manifesting their inner demon as an assistant, but the Libera Driver doesn't make the demon super as well, creating a bystander that needs to be looked after. Weekend also creates the Rolling Stamp that can cause the user and their demon to Fusion Dance for more power, but it leads to a Merging Mistake where the two get permanently stuck Sharing a Body until Fenix develops their own version that can fuse (and un-fuse) them properly.
  • Knight Rider has KARR, the prototype for KITT. The design flaw being that KARR was programmed to place self-preservation over everything else (thusly making him a Psycho Prototype to boot). His insistence that he is definitely a Super Prototype to KITT ends up being another pretty serious flaw as well (his only actual technological advantage is a slightly better speech module in his first appearance).
    • In the new series, however, KARR can transform from a robot into a car, while KITT can only transform into various cars. Also, it is revealed that the military always intended to go with KARR, once KITT's AI was "mature" enough. KITT was a temporary necessity.
  • One episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has Mike trying to make another robot friend. It goes into berserk mode the instant he turns it on.
  • Stargate SG-1: In "Disclosure", the United States decides to reveal the existence of the Stargate program to the rest of the world's superpowers (bar Russia, which is already aware of the program), since the latest Big Bad Anubis is enough of a threat that they might not be able to handle it on their own. The Chinese ambassador is understandably upset at the Americans having access to spaceships and the like. The Russian Colonel Chekov, already a long-standing partner, explains that the American starships are flawed in numerous ways and ludicrously expensive. Once they work out the bugs, at great expense to themselves, they'll turn over the designs and the Russians can build effective copies at half the expense.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Lore, the prototype for Data, possessing the same strength, speed, endurance and physical design. But unlike Data, who only gained emotions later in life, Lore was created with them from the start, which led to him being amoral and mentally unstable. Lore initially claimed, and believed, that he was "too perfect" and that Data was created as an inferior model, though their creator later explained that they're perfectly equal and that the colonists weren't jealous of Lore's abilities, but terrified of his outbursts. It's later revealed that Data and Lore were the last and most successful of a string of prototype androids, with one of them, the childlike B-4, showing up in Star Trek: Nemesis.
      • The Enterprise-D and the other Galaxy-class ships were designed in a period of relative peace for the Federation, and as such many of its features emphasized form over function (as detailed here). Foremost was the saucer separation, a design present in many previous Starfleet ships but intended more for emergency evacuation. The Galaxy class boasted casual saucer separation, the intention was to evacuate non-Starfleet personnel into the saucer and let the stardrive section go into combat. The problem was that to make each section autonomous, fusion reactors in the saucer section worked in tandem with the warp core, making casual separation even less impractical and it's most valuable use remained in emergency evacuation (the later Prometheus design boasted triple separation and redundant warp cores and nacelles to take advantage of its combat use). Warp core ejection was also touted as a feature, but those systems rarely worked properly. It was also very uneconomic in internal space, trying to do just about everything. The core design was still rugged and versatile, by the time of the Dominion War the Galaxy class proved its worth as the backbone of Starfleet.
      • This is actually discussed in the episode "Contagion". A mysterious cascading set of failures leads to the complete destruction of the USS Yamato. Picard worries that the Enterprise-D might have this mysterious, possibly inherent, flaw, but Geordi reassures him that, if it did, Starfleet wouldn't have pushed the ship out.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • The Defiant could practically be a trope namer, having been famously described as "A set of guns strapped to an engine." Stuffing the equivalent abilities of a Galaxy-class ship into something barely a quarter of that size made it extremely overpowered, engine-wise, to the point where it nearly tore itself to pieces when it accelerated to full speed on its shakedown cruise. It was also, due to the combat-exclusive focus of its design, poorly suited for everything else (in stark contrast to every other Federation starship), with the worst of these shortcomings being the criminally under-equipped medical facilities.note  It took the better part of a season and O'Brien replacing just about everything to make the blasted machine work as it was expected to.
      • Comes up again when Nog and Jake run into the elite cadet group Red Squad, who are piloting another Defiant-class vessel (which have been rushed into mass production despite still being prototypes due to the Dominion threat). It has the same problems, only they can't fix them. Luckily, Nog has spent enough time paying attention to O'Brien that he does know, and thus he makes the ship work in a few minutes. (The changes Nog makes are said to violate many Starfleet regulations, but they still work.)
      • This also happens with the Mirror Universe Defiant, built by Smiley (nickname given by Mirror!Sisko to Mirror!O'Brien as a play on his first name and perpetually sour mood) based on the specs he stole from the prime universe's databanks. However, once built, they hit on the same technical difficulties as the original, forcing them to kidnap Sisko (who, having helped design the original, had a lot more in-depth knowledge of its workings and flaws than anyone in the Mirror Universe) and have him fix the problems. Surprisingly, Sisko is sympathetic and not only helps them fix the ship but also commands the battle against the Alliance's flagship (the Mirror version of the Negh'Var) and handily beats the massive warship, forcing Mirror!Worf to retreat.
    • The title ship of Star Trek: Voyager was the first Intrepid-class ship fitted with bio-neural gelpacks. Essentially, it made the ship's computer systems organic, theoretically improving processing speed and make it more resistant to disruptive environments. Several years in the Delta Quadrant showed just how impractical the idea was. From routine breakdowns, the ship getting sick and etc, the tech never took off.
    • The NX-01 Enterprise from Star Trek: Enterprise was a testbed for the first Warp 5 engine. In part due to how new humanity was to space travel it had a number of glitches, and being sent out ahead of schedule meant some features were not fully installed. They did manage to work out some kinks and along the way discover some successful workarounds (their phase cannons were very underpowered until they looped power through the warp core, using the hull's polarization field to vent off the kickback). The NX-02 Columbia launched with those features coming standard.
    • The spore drive in Star Trek: Discovery. The system could be able to travel light years via a special mycelial network hidden "inside" the multiverse. Warp drive would be rendered useless as one could just pop in and out whenever they wanted to! However, Starfleet's computers weren't strong enough to handle the calculations, thus leading to the necessity of either a tardigrade-like creature or a genetically-enhanced human (the latter being a big no-no in Starfleet) to handle everything. Even then, there was the risk of warping somewhere they didn't want to (like near a star), hitting a technical "firewall" and killing everyone and possibly losing your navigator to the network. Starfleet wisely decommissioned the drive after the war with the Klingons and classified it under threat of treason after the Discovery and its crew were thought lost.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger: Abarekiller's Dino Minder is one of these; too many transformations causes it to overload and explode.
    • Denji Sentai Megaranger combines this with Super Prototype. The Sixth Ranger of this season, Mega Silver, is the prototype suit of the ones used by the main five and is more powerful, but as a drawback only lasts 2 minutes and 30 seconds before it automatically turns off. Subverted later on when a workaround is made that permanantly removes the time limit.
    • An even earlier example was Red Puncher of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, which went berserk and killed its first pilot.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "In His Image", Walter Ryder, Jr. shows Alan Talbot the two failed prototypes in his quest to create an android: Alan Talbot 1 and Alan Talbot 2. It turns out that Alan is flawed himself due to his frequent homicidal urges.
  • Warehouse 13 has many such items on display. In this case, "flawed" means "Gone Horribly Wrong" — case in point, a self-replicating dodgeball used for military target practice.
    • Some items are not "flawed", in that they are exactly what their creators wanted them to be. They're just too dangerous to be allowed into the world. Timothy Leary's Reading Glasses simulate the visual effects of LSD by anyone wearing them, resulting in the person never wanting to take them off or do anything, including eat, drink, or sleep. The end result is obvious. Copies made by McPherson only cause the world to appear trippy but don't result in addiction, and can also be used to send secret messages.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • The Daboku Assault 'Mech was among the first new Battlemechs built with the lost knowledge gleaned from the Helm Memory Core, and it shows, becoming the laughing stock of the battlefield. While it was advanced, the mech was riddled with massive faults. The Mech would sometimes spontaneously eject the pilot when hit in the lower torsonote , which caused the frustrated pilots to disable the auto-eject (which still failed to correct the issue). The quadruple autocannon ammo feeds were poorly designed, causing them to jam up, and the 'Mech lacked enough heatsinks to prevent it from overheating when firing its lasers. It was so infamous that the much more common successor dropped the name entirely, instead being called the Mauler.
    • The Battletech writing staff had a field day with the concept of failed designs in XTRO: Boondoggles, best described as a sourcebook full of abject failure. Fifteen units are collected in the book and every one of them is a screwup of the highest order. Pick your poison. An unarmed Fragile Speedster that overheats just moving and is so vulnerable that it could be killed with a thrown rock? What about the attempt to make a Walking Tank into a Transforming Mecha... namely, a plane that flew about as well as tanks tend to fly? Or perhaps the automated probe ship that blithely ignored its orders, went on a random drunken hyperspace tour of known space, then disappeared never to be seen again? It's all there.
    • A running theme in Battletech history seems to be megalomaniacal dictators mandating the development of super-heavy war machines that end up being utter failures on a mechanical and practical level. The most notorious individual responsible for the most gigantic failures was Stefan Amaris, who was based on the obvious unsavory real life inspiration. He had a thing for demanding giant, oversized 'Mechs and tanks that carried ludicrous amounts of armor and weaponry and yet had reliability issues so severe that most of them broke down just trying to move. The list includes the 140-ton Burke II super-heavy tank, the 110-ton Matar Battlemech, and the 90-ton Rifleman III Battlemech, among others—only the last of these was able to actually escape the kind of severe mechanical faults that plagued the rest of his ideas, and even then it was still little better than a bipedal gun turret due to its abysmal speed and mediocre armor. The Matar is a particularly bad case of Epic Fail, as its knees, ankles, and hips basically exploded from the weight stress the first time it tried to move.
    • The Binary Laser Cannon, or Blazer. Created during the Succession Wars after the Inner Sphere had nuked itself back a few centuries in terms of technological production ability by effectively taking a pair of large lasers apart and putting both beam emitters into the same housing (hence the name), it turned out to be a horrific heat hog that was simply not effective enough for it to ever get put into production on a mech. Despite numerous attempts by the Great Houses to figure out an effective use for it through the 31st Century, it was ultimately regarded as a failure when compared to other energy weapons of similar size like the Heavy PPC, which offers better damage for similar heat, and the Large Variable Speed Pulse Laser, which is more accurate and heat efficient.
    • The Hyper-Velocity Autocannon, or HVAC. Created as an attempt to make autocannons with better range, they succeeded but were riddled with flaws. First of all, the guns are heavier than standard autocannons of the same type. Second of all, the propellant used produces huge clouds of smoke that block line of sight of anything that might be behind the unit firing it (such as allies who wish to shoot the same target). Third, they generate a lot of heat and have reduced ammo compared to normal autocannons. Fourth, they're prone to violent malfunction. All in all, there are other weapons, such as Gauss Riles, that offer similar range with better punch, far less heat, and none of the other flaws. As a consequence, they were only used on a few prototype designs before being abandoned.
  • In Eberron, the first warforged were the titan variety, being heavily based on the template of an iron golem. They possessed physical strength that rivalled their golem forebears, but backed it up with artificial intelligence that made them more independent and capable on the battlefield than their mindless forebears. However, construct design advanced considerably in the following years, and so the titans were swiftly swept away in favor of the newer models. While the average modern warforged is completely sapient and just as smart as the average human, a titan is about as smart as a well-trained dog. Standard warforged also have the Living Construct trait to reflect their closeness to a living organism, which the titan does not. In fact, because of this intelligence and ability to learn, a warforged can even take class levels, with there being quite a few high-level warforged that could crush a titan relatively easily, despite a titan being about four times their size and ten times their weight.
  • In Paranoia, when collecting equipment for their latest mission, Troubleshooters will quite often get assigned one of these for testing by the Alpha Complex R&D department. (And remember, Citizen, failing to return valuable official property intact and unblemished is treason!)
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Supplementary rules in White Dwarf added a Rail Rifle option for Tau Pathfinder squads. An optional Target Lock upgrade allowed such armed soldiers to fire at a different unit than their squadmates, albeit with a one-in-six chance of taking damage from Explosive Instrumentation. Since the Tau are the one faction whose technology is regularly improving, by their next codex update that upgrade was available without any drawbacks.
      • However they then created their largest Battlesuit yet, the XV104 Riptide. In order to power it, it uses an ultra-compact dark-matter fueled Nova Reactor. While it's under normal use, the suit works just fine with no issues. However, if the pilot attempts to push the mech beyond its normal limits, such as to shoot its weapons more often than normal, or overcharge it's main armament, divert all power to its force shield, or turn up its jet-pack thrusters to maximum, there's a risk of power overload, and injuring the pilot.
    • Additionally, the Tau began experimenting with ability of overcharging vehicle mounted ion weaponry beyond normal operating limits, and a new, highly enriched Iridium alloy to create portable Ion Rifles for its troops to carry. Though overcharging these weapons exposes vehicles or the shooter to either overheating issues or acute radiation poisoning respectively.
    • The Thunder Warriors were the Emperor's first attempt to create a Super Soldier Badass Army to fight for Humanity. He took the roughest and toughest that Terra had to offer, genetically augmented them, and slapped on some simple Powered Armor. The Thunder Warriors proceeded to crush the various barbarian warlords on Terra, swiftly delivering Terra to the Emperor on a platter. However, while the Thunder Warriors were very powerful (supposedly even stronger than their successors, the Astartes and the Custodes), they were also fatally flawed in ways both physical and mental. Since the Emperor recruited them from the people who grew up in the blasted wasteland Terra had become in the Age of Strife, each of them was more or less an Ax-Crazy Sociopathic Soldier embodying the very worst of Humanity barely kept in check by loyalty to the Emperor. Their augmentations also drastically shortened their lifespans — though this might have been deliberate on the Emperor's part to give the superpowered lunatics an expiration date. The Emperor managed to iron out most of the flaws by the time he created the Space Marines.
    • Lion El'Jonson was the Emperor's first Primarch. Lion was a sublime warrior, a magnificent general, but had absolutely horrible social skills and no tact whatsoever. It caused catastrophic problems for his legion and countless others.
  • This is fairly common in Yu-Gi-Oh!, where the first iteration of a mechanic will often be noticeably clunkier than later attempts (though Power Creep certainly doesn't help). One of the most evident cases of this is the Digital Bugs, a lineup of cards based on summoning Xyz using other Xyz and on Xyz monsters inheriting effects from their materials, and which saw no competitive success whatsoever. Those same mechanics were used in Zoodiacs a few months later, but with several of the restrictions removed, and the deck immediately became hyper-dominant.

    • Mata Nui resurrected his old broken prototype on Bara Magna to fight his evil brother, Makuta, who had taken over his body. It Makes Sense in Context. The prototype robot was two-thirds the size of Mata Nui's original body (making it "only" 27 thousand feet tall) and, the last time it was turned on, exploded violently due to an unstable power source. Even after Mata Nui rebuilt it with a new power source, it didn't have the strength to match Makuta's "production" body for long, and only defeated him by performing an impromptu Colony Drop.
    • The Kralhi were the first attempt at creating a force of security robots for Metru Nui with the goal of catching lawbreakers and forcing them back to work as peacefully as possible before the Vahki were created. They were designed with tail guns that fired bubbles that would both trap and drain the energy of their targets to make capturing them easier...but the major flaw found in the roughly two dozen that were originally made was that the energy drain was too severe and left the victims too weak to work for some time, which ran counterintuitive to the intent of putting troublemakers back to work as soon as possible. The later Vahki models did away with physical entrapment and settled for weapons that use Mind Manipulation to ensure lawbreakers would physically be unhurt yet easy to subdue, with specialized units created later for more dangerous threats.
  • Transformers:
    • Devastator, usually the first Decepticon combiner. It shows. He's made of five of the finest engineers the Decepticons had (and Bonecrusher), but the result is a raging behemoth usually prone to just trying to smash everything in his path, with none of the intelligence of any of his components.
    • Meanwhile, the Autobots have Superion, the combined form of the Aerialbots, who saw what happened with Devastator and tried to fix that... the result is that Superion's component minds don't mesh at all, resulting in Supes being dumb. He's not capable of much thought beyond "SMASH" himself, and comes across as aloof to his fellow Autobots. In the original comics, he was so flawed that he couldn't distinguish between Decepticons and humans, since the moral complexity of a guy being coerced was beyond his ability to grasp, and only supreme effort on Silverbolt's part stopped him smushing the guy in front of lots of bystanders.
  • The first version of The Transformers: Combiner Wars Scattershot, who used the limb characters from Optimus Maximus to form Betatron. Hasbro eventually confirmed that Betatron's name was a reference to him being a "beta" version of the original G1 Combiner that Scattershot formed, Computron, and both they and Takara each released full Computron gift sets featuring all of the Technobots that were much better received.

    Video Games 
  • Truth in Television: This trope is the very reason why beta testing a new unreleased game is an absolute necessity! And why when a company releases an Obvious Beta, it's very easy to tell.
  • In Azure Striker Gunvolt, both Nova and Asimov can be considered this, along with Super Prototype, compared to Gunvolt. All three were part of the Sumeragi Group's "Project GUNVOLT" to create Azure Strikers and were the only survivors, but Asimov, the first success, while more powerful than Gunvolt couldn't effectively control his power output and Nova, despite having more power than even Asimov, failed to properly bond with the Septima and had to be bonded with an entirely different one to survive. Gunvolt, while technically weaker than either of them, was the only one who successfully bonded with the Septima and could control his powers.
  • Subject Delta and the Alpha Series, from BioShock 2. The prototypes for the standard Big Daddy, the Alpha Series are Glass Cannons that can also use Plasmids. However the psychological bond between the Alpha Series and their Little Sisters was so intense that separating them would send the Alpha into either a coma or a state of psychosis.
  • In BlazBlue, Lambda-11, the predecessor Murakumo unit to Mu-12 (Noel Vermillion) and Nu-13, was created by Relius Clover and originally used as a test subject by Sector Seven scientists, in which she ultimately perished. Kokonoe eventually recovered what was left of her body and managed to restore her to a functional state. However, she is both inferior to her "sisters" in terms of combat capability and even lacks a Nox Nyctores. This is especially apparent in gameplay as she fights with a weaker version of Nu-13's fighting style, and those in the know often mock Kokonoe for bringing such a "flawed" creation to the fight.
    • Averted somewhat in Chronophantasma Extend. Despite lacking a Nox Nyctores and being brought back from the dead two times now, she has become more distinct from her "sisters". She doesn't have their raw power but she's slowly becoming her own thing instead of just another Murakumo.
  • Mecha Ace has the Lionheart, which is both this and a Super Prototype. While it's superior in many ways to the bog-standard mecha, it turns out that there's a bug in the piloting software that causes it to become unresponsive at max speed. You discover this just as you realise you're on a collision course with a civilian ship. The player can choose to have limiters installed, slowing it down to the same speed as a regular mech but eliminating the problem, or not, giving you access to its full speed but having to deal with the bug.
  • Crash Bandicoot's backstory was that he was intended to be the general of Dr. Cortex's mutated animal soldiers in his plan for world domination, but was deemed a failure and escaped. "Failure" in this case is a combination of being uncontrollable as well as being just plain stupid. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time reveals that it was supposed to work, but a time-travelling Crash accidentally broke the main component needed to control him.
    • Ripper Roo was the first of Cortex's minions to be placed into the Cortex Vortex and while he was able to be controlled by Cortex, he is also completely insane and is possibly more stupid then even Crash is.
  • While Cavaliere Angelo from Devil May Cry 5 may seem like a Super Prototype to its successor Nelo Angelo, with defensive wings and electrical manipulation, in reality it was inferior to the Black Angel. While its power over lighting is impressive, it can easily lose its energy, forcing it to recharge and leaving itself open to attack, and its defensive capabilities don't protect much against a skilled opponent. What's worse, while Nelo Angelo's armour empowered the enslaved Vergil, Cavaliere Angelo requires a Living Battery in the form of Trish in order to even function, making it clear why it was rejected by Mundus.
  • In Doom³ there is the prototype BFG 9000s. Despite being extremely powerful, noted as lighter than earlier prototype versions, and being deployed in limited numbers to Mars, it still suffers a critical flaw: if the user overcharges the weapon, it will explode and kill the user.
  • In the sci-fantasy 4x strategy Endless Legend, you can discover prototype weapon and armor designs during early quests. These prototypes are early ancient weapon designs from before that planet's cataclysm. When you find them, you only need the appropriate materials to manufacture them rather than having to research an entire research branch. The problem is that these prototypes are extremely weak compared to the weapons you can manufacture through researching. Many times the prototypes lack the extra bonuses and have far weaker stats than their researched counterparts and often use more material. For example one titanium bow prototype is a Tier 2 weapon that uses 6 titanium to manufacture and only does +4 damage. The lesser Tier 1 titanium weapon that you researched only takes 4 titanium, does +6 damage and has a +5 chance of doing a critical hit.
  • Evolve has a few of these:
    • The Beserker Suits gave their user enhanced strength, speed, and reflexes, but also caused massive adrenal failure and pain.
    • The Paladin Armor, sister program to the Beserker Suits, was capable of healing the wearer from nearly any wound but often incurred undesirable mutations.
    • On the biological side, the Basilisk Soldiers. The first generation soldiers were incredibly strong, fast, and deadly. Unfortunately, the mix of DNA used to mutate them into supersoldiers drove each and every one of them violently insane. The issues were mostly resolved by Generation 3.
  • The first power-armor model from the Fallout series allowed soldiers to become one-man tanks, but issues with power supply made mobility difficult, meaning that soldiers were stationed somewhere, hooked up to a generator, and left to kill as many Chinese as possible.
    • Fallout Tactics has a prototype Pulse Rifle that deals less damage and has a lower ammo capacity than the mass-produced version.
    • You can find an intact prototype Sentrybot in a junk yard in Fallout 4. Should you choose to activate it, it immediately becomes apparent why it was junked: it overheats rapidly, making it far less dangerous than the standard Sentrybots you can find throughout the Commonwealth and (should you choose to hack it) useful only for soaking enemy bullets in combat.
  • Kefka, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy VI, is the Gestahlian Empire's first Magitek soldier, a human artificially imbued with magic. The process worked, but also drove him completely insane.
  • Genesis, the Big Bad of Final Fantasy: Crisis Core suffers from degeneration from his indirect prenatal exposure to Jenova cells as one of the subjects of Project G. His desperate attempts to fix this problem bring tragedy to the setting.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, the antagonist, Kuja, and protagonist, Zidane, are both constructs. Kuja is revealed to be a flawed prototype, causing his Freak Out on disk 3.
    • Also Vivi. Much more powerful than normal black mages and a longer life span, but he was never zombie-like and easily controllable like the others. While seen as a flaw by his creators, this worked out rather well for him.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's 3 gives us Springtrap, a failed version of the Bonnie animatronic. This version was meant to be a multipurpose suit with parts that could be cranked back and held by spring locks so that the animatronic could also be used as a suit. However, the springs tended to fail and the suit was abandoned. However, the suit was discovered by the Purple Man and, in a desperate attempt to hide from the spirits of the children he murdered, hopped into Springtrap. The locks gave way and maimed him to death.
  • The Lancer assault rifle in the Gears of War series had a previous version, later dubbed the Retro Lancer, that had a fixed blade. It worked well enough in traditional warfare, but against the Locust their skin was too thick and the blades often broke. That resulted in the modern version with a chainsaw built into the grip. Gears of War 3 introduced the original into the weapon options, with dialogue indicating it was overpowered with a lot of kickback, whereas the modern version is better balanced. Ironically, in actual gameplay, the Retro Lancer is considered the better weapon by players, due to combining the range of the Lancer with better stopping power and the ability to counter the ubiquitous Gnasher shotgun.
  • Halo:
    • The UNSC's earliest attempt at developing a Super Soldier was the ORION Project, but the program as a whole was so underwhelming they decided to start over from scratch. The head of the following super soldier program, Dr. Halsey, felt that ORION still gave them fundamental insights into where to proceed, and thus named her own Super Soldier program SPARTAN-II, retroactively making Orion candidates Spartan-Is. Sergeant Avery Johnson is one of those participants.
    • The Spartan-IIs were extremely powerful, but their Training from Hell included biological enhancements and experimental surgeries so extreme that half their original recruits died just from the procedures, and their Powered Armor was some of the most expensive technology ever produced by the UNSC. The SPARTAN-III Program was designed to address the heavily restrictive standards, high expenses, and long development cycle of the IIs, doing so by broadening the requirements for age, genetics and personality profiles, and opting for cheaper semi-powered armor. Combined with the less extreme surgeries and improved medical technology allowing everyone to survive the augmentation process, the IIIs were significantly more numerous than the IIs, though somewhat less skilled individually and significantly less well-equipped. The Spartan-IVs, developed after the Human-Covenant War, are a fusion of all the previous programs, being adult volunteers who recieved significantly improved Powered Armor, but somewhat less extensive augmentations compared to their predecessors.
    • The Mjolnir Powered Armor was proposed early on as a companion piece of equipment for all Spartans, but early designs were very underwhelming. The MK I was a large, sluggish exosuit with no protective plating at all and required a tethered power source. They in fact were used for early Spartan training, where in their augmented state the Spartans were able to damage them with their bare hands. The mechanics of the armor were slimmed down and eventually gained a battery life of more than a few minutes, but it wasn't until the MK IV design with a miniature fusion power core that they were deemed ready for combat deployment. The MK V, the one Master Chief wears in Halo: Combat Evolved, was the first to give him personal Deflector Shields. The MK VI and further iterations are comparatively more minor design and optimization upgrades after that.
  • Homeworld:
    • Drone technology: introduced in the first game, the drone frigate is devastating against fighters but carries no weapons aside the drones, can barely scratch enemy capital ships, and the drones are stationary around the frigate (making them easy targets for frigates and bigger ships). The Advanced Drone Frigate of Homeworld: Cataclysm is a superior design. It carries its own weapons to attack enemy ships and defend itself and has a smaller number of superior Swarmer-class drones, able to maneuver on their own at medium distance from the frigate. The technology disappears in the third game.
    • Ion cannons (apart the Bentusi ones, at least): they are big and cumbersome, and frigates can only mount one of them (and nothing else) in a spinal mount, making them capable ship killers at the price of being harmless against fighters and corvettes. In the first game we are treated to two solutions: The Bentusi ion cannons don't need recharge time and can track small craft, and can be mounted on fighters). The Kadeshi ion frigate, which you can't build but can capture, mounts four of them, increasing their firepower and giving them limited anti-fighter capabilities. Destroyers and heavy cruisers, being much bigger than frigates, can mount them in turrets. The real solution, however, comes in Homeworld: Cataclysm, with the multi-beam frigate, which has five ion cannon turrets. Each individual turret is less powerful than the single gun of an ion frigate, but when all fired at a single target they are devastating, and enemy strike craft are in for a nightmare. This time the technology remains but with modifications: the ion platform has four small ion cannons on twin turrets and can hit both strike craft and capital ships. The ion frigate returns to the single weapon in spinal mount, but outguns the ion platform by a decent margin, and the battlecruiser has four ion cannons in twin turrets, each cannon outgunning the frigate.
    • Strike craft engines: In the first game they needed periodical refueling, which was the one weakness of the Kadeshi swarmers; they outperform scouts and have corvette-level firepower, with advanced swarmers being faster, better armoured and having twice the firepower, but the swarmers need to be refuelled every minute or so. In Cataclysm and Homeworld 2 strike craft don't need refueling anymore.
    • Shield technology: In the original game the shield technology could only block projectiles and missiles, while mines and energy weapons passed through it at will. In Cataclysm they are upgraded to protect from everything, and in Homeworld 2 they are upgraded to protect even from radiation clouds. Also, the original Tiifal defense field frigate was unarmed, but the Sentinels (ships smaller than fighters) of Cataclysm and the Hiigaran defense field frigate of Homeworld 2 both carry limited weapons.
    • Capital ships point defense: In the original game capital ships tend to be Point Defenseless due their weapons being designed to take down capital ships (only the drone frigate, the carriers and the motherships can truly deal with fighters, and are awfully vulnerable to capital ships). Cataclysm gives us the already-mentioned multi-beam frigate and three types of super capital ships capable of defending themselves from fighters (the Beast heavy cruiser has a beam weapon to subvert them, the Somtaaw destroyer is equipped with a missile battery, and the Somtaaw dreadnought comes with a missile battery and fast-tracking ion cannons, and is later upgraded with a repulsor weapon to disperse enemy fighters). Homeworld 2 has various frigates made to deal with enemy strike craft, and destroyers and battlecruisers have actual point defense weapons.
    • The mothership itself: In the first game, the mothership (both the Kushan and the Taiidan variant) is lightly armed and armored and (in the single player campaign) can't move in real space due to its engines being unfinished. This is a complication in some missions, such as the one where the mothership is endangered by asteroids and the one where the enemy tries a Colony Drop on it. To rub salt in the wound, we see that the Kadeshi mothership has ion cannons and very fast engines, in addition to building capabilities and point defense weapons. In Cataclysm, your mothership comes with working engines and capable weapons, and over the course of the game you upgrade it with superior armour, energy cannons and a Wave-Motion Gun, while the Beast mothership has comparable normal weapons, slightly slower engines and inferior construction capacity, but it has superior armour and swaps the Wave-Motion Gun with a beam to spread The Corruption. In Homeworld 2, the Pride of Hiigara (itself an improved version of the Kushan mothership) has working engines, decent weapons, and can be upgraded with various systems, including cloak generators and sensors to defeat it.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a series of living puppets called Replicas, of which the first thirteen were only able to vaguely mimic a human being. The fourteenth was an exact duplicate of one specific person, the fifteenth could copy traits from multiple people and develop its own identity, and the sixteenth onward are capable of serving as full replacement bodies.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, they introduce two mech units that are the prototypes to the rest called the Goliath, a mech the size of a building that has a lot of weaponry with shoulder cannons, flamethrowers, and excels decently at close range due to its arms that can punch its enemies; and the Kestrel, a sleeker, more mobile unit that can dodge almost everything and moves really fast. Both mechs have one glaring flaw however: because of how powerful and fast they are respectively, their engines couldn't keep up and it causes it to get overloaded which explodes both units. Which is fine for both characters using the prototypes because both of them are death seekers. Both units later on get ironed out by Cold Steel III with the Goliath Noa and Kestrel Beta respectively.
  • L2 biotics are this in the Mass Effect universe. It was a biotic amp implant design that was made when humanity still didn't fully understand what it was doing when it came to biotics. Many L2 biotics are plagued by various health problems; the ones that get migraines are the lucky ones. L3 designs and later are more refined and don't have those problems, but L2 implants are also difficult to upgrade, leaving many L2s unwilling to take the risk. Furthermore, few L3s were as powerful as the L2s, with Commander Shepard being an explicit exception, so some opted not to take the upgrades, because they'd lose out. There is also the fact that the retrofit surgery would be performed by an offshoot of the now-defunct Conatix Industries, which many L2s intensely distrust due to Conatix's actions in the early days of researching human biotics. It isn't until the L4 biotics are developed that human biotics begin to overcome both of those problems (L2's medical issues and L3's weaker power compared to L2s).
    • Warlord Okeer created Grunt to be the perfect Krogan. The other tank-grown krogan you fight to reach Okeer are his failed attempts, discarded because they failed to meet his expectations. (Though if called on it, he actually notes that they're more than capable of doing what they were commissioned for — the Blue Suns leader who ordered them is just really awful at leading, and Okeer has some ludicrously high standards.)
    • In the first game, you meet an admiral who is rather cynical about the Normandy and tries to pass the ship off as this, citing issues such as the oversized drive core, the expensive price it took to build, and the odd bridge layout. Of course, you can shut him down by explaining each issue; the oversized drive core gives the Normandy almost unheard-of power for a ship of her size, the price is well worth the cost due to also being one of the fastest and stealthiest ships in the galaxy, and the layout of the bridge is a turian design, helping punctuate that the ship and her mission is a multispecies effort and a shining example of Human–Turian relations.
    • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, there's the Kett Behemoth, their attempt at exalting a krogan. It's only partially successful. The resultant creation has become stuck in a permanent Blood Rage, so it had to be locked up, and according to some after-action medical analysis, the process made it more susceptible to blood clots. Depending on the player's choice, Ryder might just fight one of these, or several, by which point the kett forces have apparently decided they don't really care much about keeping the Behemoths under control or alive.
  • Blues / Proto Man / DLN-000, Mega Man's "older brother" in the Mega Man (Classic) series, is certainly a badass in his own right, but there's something preventing him from being a proper Super Prototype: his flawed atomic power reactor made by Dr. Wily and a defect in his energy system later acquired according to his solo ending from Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. He was originally equipped with a flawed solar power reactor, which Dr. Light developed and tried to fix. However, because Blues was developed with a strong sense of independence, he ran away from Light Labs because he feared that fixing his solar power reactor would erase his individuality. Eventually, the flawed solar reactor stopped working and Blues in turn ceased to function. It was then that Dr. Wily found him and tried to fix him, by switching his old reactor with an early version of the atomic power reactors, which all Wilybots would later use. Besides giving Proto Man a new power reactor, he was outfitted with combat capabilities and his trademark visor along with his shield. However, combat pushes Proto Man's atomic power reactor to its limits; overuse will make him a living time bomb, as one well placed shot can cause him to blow up and annihilate the environment around him. The defect his energy system later acquired causes him pain and if the defect is left unchecked, his body may eventually will break down. Since he has a strong sense of independence, he refuses to let himself be repaired by Dr. Light, even if it means his death. In games where Proto Man's playable, he's typically a Glass Cannon due to the defect mentioned above.
    • Bizarrely, Dr. Light rebuilds Proto Man during the ending of Mega Man & Bass, where he should have been able to give him a more advanced power reactor and fix the defect his energy system acquired, but Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 are explicitly after that game and have the double damage thing.
    • In Ariga's Mega Man Megamix manga it is Double Subverted. Proto Man doesn't have a flawed or limited power core, but his energy systems are messed up, because Dr. Light tried to install a buggy version of the three laws in order to control him. No wonder he's paranoid about Dr. Light taking his free will away, if given the opportunity and won't let Dr. Light 'fix' him: Proto Man is dying because Dr. Light already tried to do that. On top of the fact he can't trust Dr. Light, it's possible that the power system programming flaw can't be fixed without fixing the three laws programming, in which case he really would lose his individuality, if he was fixed. Of course, this universe's robot masters aren't very Three Laws-Compliant. Roll and Rock would be happy to show him how it's done.
    • The Double Gear system from 11 was originally a proof of concept so Wily could ask for funds to research and improve it. As such, the original protoype (which was installed in Mega Man) has the flaws of each individual gear overheating if used for too long and the signature Super Mode being a Desperation Attack. When Wily uses the perfected system during the Final Boss fight, he has no such limitations.
  • Metal Gear has its fair share of flawed prototypes.
    • Metal Gear Solid has the Metal Gear REX, which is a powerful nuclear-equipped walking tank with one fatal flaw: because the cockpit is completely sealed off from the outside, it is reliant on a shoulder-mounted radome to see. If the radome is damaged, the cockpit is designed to automatically open, exposing the pilot to danger. Otacon intentionally designed this flaw into REX, under the belief that every mecha needs some kind of weakness.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker: Militaires Sans Frontières is ultimately this to Big Boss's idea of a "military nation", built off of the proof of concept given to him during the events of Portable Ops. Unfortunately it failed, due to growing too powerful too quickly (and being rather public about it), thus gaining the ire of the world's super powers, and being too trusting of its own members (we're looking at you, Huey). These issues would be fixed in the two successor projects: the Diamond Dogs/Outer Heaven & Zanzibar Land.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, a Humongous Mecha that is distinctly humanoid in design. To adequately use such a build, Sahelanthropus was designed to use an advanced artificial intelligence. Controlling it with AI alone, however, resulted in poor performance, so it was redesigned to use a human pilot in conjunction with the AI. This, however, created more difficulties: in spite of downsizing the AI core as much as possible without sacrificing performance, creating a cockpit to accommodate an adult pilot made it too top-heavy to be practical. The size of the cockpit only permits those of particular short stature to control it, like children. Furthermore, the back-mounted railgun can only be fired while Sahelanthropus is in its hunched-over "tank" configuration: attempting to fire the railgun while upright would cause it to topple over from the recoil.
  • Metroid Prime: A Space Pirate log mentions that, while they have succeeded in replicating Samus' various beam weapons, they are still perplexed by her suit's Morph Ball technology, which allows her to roll her body into a ball less than half her size. After several test subjects are gruesomely mangled by their Morph Ball prototype, Science Team decides to move on.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise From The Ashes: The P-Beam Rifle. P, in this case, stands for "Prototype." It's only usable in one mission (unless unlocked) and only has a paltry six shots before its long reload. It's a prototype of the Gundam's beam rifle. In a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, it (and the unlockable Gundam Beam Rifle) can be reloaded, albeit slowly, a technology not introduced for several years after the One Year War.
  • Labrys in Persona 4: Arena was part of a line of prototypes that eventually led to Aigis. Unlike the later models, she and the others were largely lacking in actual individuality and when she did finally develop she was unstable. She was technically a success, but viewed as too dangerous to use and sealed away.
    • Granted this may have been a problem with the development method, not the technology itself. The scientists seemed to think the best way to get the robots to develop a personality was to have them repeatedly fight to the death, and after they did develop a personality the scientists immediately tried to seal them away so they could be used as weapons. They were trying to get them to develop Personas, which are tied to the user's mind and emotions, without letting them develop healthy minds and emotions.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, the entire ARKS team's first generation of agents and weaponry was one humongous work in progress. The original ARKS agents were hardwired to a certain job class so they couldn't change jobs if they wanted to. The first Photonic Weapons, the Cosmogenic Arms, were stupidly powerful to the point where really breaking them out caused them to break. Doesn't help that the weapons has the spirits of the Photoners in them and work in tangent with Xion, thus Xion's death later in the story weakens them. Then, there's the first CAST, Risa, whose transfer to a robot body made her just a lot bit loopy and gun loving.
  • Pokémon:
    • Porygon2 is a manmade Artificial Intelligence Pokémon that was created for the purpose of space exploration. However, due to its flightless nature it can't navigate space on its own. This was corrected with its evolution Porygon-Z which not only gained levitation but interdimensional travel. However, Porygon-Z also became a failed prototype due to its unpredictable behavior making it impossible to work with in academic settings. To twist the knife even further, Porygon-Z is looked down on both in and out-of-universe, as according to Pokémon Sword and Shield scientists debate on whether it should even be considered a real Pokémon and in competitive play Porygon2 is considered to be superior through the use of Eviolite.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has Type: Null. It was conceived as an artificial Pokémon named Type: Full, which would be able to become any of the 18 types using the "RKS System". Three prototypes of Type: Full were created, but all three of them rejected the RKS System and subsequently went berserk. They were fitted with supressive helmets to keep them under control, but they still couldn't activate the RKS System. The project was declared a failure, and all three were put into cryogenic storage indefinitely. And all it would've taken to make the RKS system work was The Power of Friendship.
  • Very tragic example in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. Two aspiring scientists actually managed to construct a prototype time machine. One of them noticed a flaw in its design and tried to postpone the first test. This was in vain, as the other made a deal with a wealthy company for the power source, and wanted to demonstrate its viability as soon as possible. The result? BOOM. The greedy scientist miraculously survived, and used the money from the deal to cover up the explosion and become Prime Minister of Britain. The explosion took out a neighboring block of flats, and killed the test subject... but the time machine temporarily sent her ten years forward in time, then dragged her back to the time of the explosion.
  • Red Alert 3: The Reaper is an upgunned and much heavier prototype of the Sickle, using rockets and grenades instead of machine guns, and so rickety half its line allude to it needing repairs or falling apart. Like the Sickle, it can jump and land on enemy units, unlike the Sickle, It Only Works Once as the Reaper's legs give out, making it a stationary turret. The only reason it was even brought into production is sheer desperation on the part of the Soviet leadership.
  • In Sakura Wars (2019), we have the Obu, a Super Prototype spiricle striker whose power output exceeds even the cutting-edge Mugens used by the Imperial Combat Revue. It has a serious flaw, however: the spirit power requirements from the pilot are so high that no one, not even the famous Sakura Shinguji, could operate it. Sakura Amamiya, thankfully, managed to meet those requirements, making it an ideal replacement for her decommissioned Koubu.
  • Sierra Ops has the Lapis, a prototype Exoframe powered by a Lomonosov Particle Drive. This lets it do some spectacular things, like releasing an EMP powerful enough to disable an entire fleet or projecting Deflector Shields potent enough to stop an oncoming frigate in its tracks. It can’t handle the strain of operating at full power, however, and breaks down in all three of Episode I’s endings.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Bio-Sonic and Silver Sonic from the Game Gear and Sega Genesis versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is this for Metal Sonic -– Bio-Sonic only had a mechanical arm and curled up into an iron ball. Silver Sonic got the Sonic Spin down right, but could only race around in small areas.
    • E-101 Beta from Sonic Adventure is, as the name indicates, a beta test of Eggman's E-series robots. He's beaten easily, causing Eggman to rebuild him into a Super Prototype. Also from that game is the Tornado 2, mostly because Tails forgot to install landing gear on the secondary mode.
    • The Biolizard from Sonic Adventure 2 is a prototype of the ultimate life form. Shadow is the perfected ultimate life form. The former is a giant lizard covered with gills that has to hyperventilate through its (equally huge) life support system frequently in order to survive. The latter is an anthropomorphic hedgehog who doesn't seem to have any form of machine hooked up to him, save for the rocket skates and Power Limiters on his wrists, and he can lose those without any shown ill effect. Oh, and Shadow takes on his prototype and wins.
  • In Star Trek Online's fourth expansion, Victory is Life, we learn that the Jem'Hadar weren't the first Super Soldier group of the Dominion. First was the Hur'q, originally a peaceful bug-like race that was part of the Dominion's grasp. However, they were quite strong, so they figured that the beasts could be made into such a thing, so they went and stole a special fungai that they needed. However, this meant that the beasts ended up going insane, rendering them useless as soldiers but useful as a threat. Using the fungai to create the precursor to Ketracel-white, they created a new race based on the Klingons. However, this new race freed themselves from its hold only to go insane, becoming the Feh'ikri of Klingon lore. They got it right with the Jem'Hadar, their third attempt.
  • In Street Fighter, Cammy, Necro, Seth and maybe Abel are all flawed prototypes.
  • Both the Alt Eisen and Weiss Ritter of Super Robot Wars: Original Generation were designed as next-generation prototypes for The Federation to consider for mass production. The Weiss Ritter was rejected simply for being too expensive for the time, but the Alt Eisen was rejected because it was practically impossible to pilot due to its high weight, poor balance, and excessive reliance on short-range weaponry. The one man they found who could actually pilot the Alt Eisen did so by leaning into its flaws rather than trying to work against them: when it came time to upgrade the machine, he equipped it with the even more flawed prototypes of its main weapons that had been discarded during development because they exaggerated both its strengths and its flaws even more.
    • The original Huckebein in the same series was designed using a Black Hole Engine derived from alien technology, and the first prototype destroyed the entire lab it was in upon starting up. In this case, however, the flaw was deliberate: if humanity had noticed the flaw and corrected it, it would have indicated to the aliens who provided the plans that they were dangerous enough to warrant an immediate invasion. The scientist who noticed the flaw realized it was a trap and deliberately built the engine with the flaw intact so that Earth would have more time to prepare.
    • In the Masou Kishin games, the Jaohm is one of the first Masouki ever developed in the Masouki Project. Unfortunately, engineers hit a construction roadblock regarding how to effectively mold Orichalconium alloy. As result, the Jaohm's armor is mixed with ceramic, making it heavier and not as tough as they had wanted. In fact, despite the Jaohm supposedly designated as a Fragile Speedster like all other wind-based Masouki, the weight of the ceramic armor forces it be slow.
  • This is a possibility with the prototype feature in Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter. The first ship of any new design takes longer to build and requires more resources. It also has a random chance of being either better or worse at certain things than the following ships of the same design, as evidenced by the prototype's nickname.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II: The V0 Power Armor. While it's extremely powerful, it destroyed Leon Hardins, reducing him into a shadow of his former self, who people then know as Dirk Gassenarl. Attempts to create Artifical Valkyria power generally result in this trope.
  • The misshapen and vicious Troggs of World of Warcraft were the Titans' first attempt at creating creatures of living stone, but were presumably warped by Yogg-Saron's Curse of Flesh. The Earthen were more stable, and though the same curse eventually turned them into Dwarves, they skipped the whole "degenerate subterranean savages" phase.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The Paladins used by the White Fang in Volume 2 were actually stolen prototypes, according to Winter, who warns Weiss that the real models would have been much harder for Team RWBY to deal with. True to form, in Volume 3, a trio of up-to-date Paladin models are able to take on the combined force of Teams CFVY, SSSN, ABRN, FNKI, and part of JNPR. It isn't until Velvet and Weiss use their Semblances in ways that have not previously been seen that the first two Paladins are defeated, and the third goes down when Ruby accidentally blows up the command ship that is powering it.

    Web Comics 
  • Bob and George: Dr. Light explains the previous robots as this: they ran off to fight evil instead of helping him about the lab.
  • Cucumber Quest: Splashmaster the first of the Disaster Masters is also the weakest, possessing low intelligence and defense in spite of his strength. When asked in a Q&A session, his creator, the Nightmare Knight, admits that he was weaker at the time of Splashmasters creation and that reflected in Splashmaster himself.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Kevin the Animate Inanimate Object wand was intended to help train wizards by vocalizing lessons but he didn't work properly until magic itself changed. When that happened he not only worked, he became sentient becoming a Super Prototype.
  • The experimental jump drive on Galaxion has, so far, caused a massive explosion on three tests out of four.
  • The Specialists: Hartmann. From the Nazi POV looking less Aryan was the sticking point. The Berserk Button, even though it's actual combat, didn't exactly help.

    Web Original 
  • Cult of Personality: The robot Soldier speaks more than he shoots and loves to remind his enemies that he is a robot. He would normally be so busy talking that he gets shut down forcefully before he could finish his sentence.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In the episode "The Plague of the Prototypes!" Batman must use his bumbling beta-test robot "Proto" to combat his Bat-Robots that have been taken over by Black Mask.
  • In Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Rusty's prototype is the mothballed EP-327, aka "Earl". While Earl has every single power held by Rusty, and a superior targeting ability, Earl has a failed, stunted A.I. As such, while not fully evil, Earl is little more than a little, stereotypical toy soldier, programming to follow unflinchingly orders issued by an authority figure. Failing that, Earl is surly, unwilling to compromise by giving in teamwork and inclined to snarl and lash against his own allies. Perhaps worst of all, his A.I. was so simple that he cannot process an order in anything but the most literal of terms. A command to "go stand in the corner" in a round room is enough to Logic Bomb him so badly that he sputters out and completely resets himself.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: XL is a large, violent prototype to XR.
  • From Danny Phantom, any of Vlad's flawed clones of Danny would qualify — most blatant being Danielle.
  • In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Serpentor ends up being this. He was created by Dr. Mindbender to be the greatest military genius around to replace Cobra Commander using the DNA of some of history's greatest military minds. However, it ended up not getting Sun Tsu's calming influence, leading to the creation of an egotistical madman who practically strongarms Cobra into his command.
  • Like the Video Game example above, Protoman in Mega Man (Ruby-Spears), when first activated, suffers from just a slight flaw.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, one of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's plans involves making several clones of Perry to frame him. The very first one out is Jerry the Platypus, a dumb, imperfect version that Doofenshmirtz can't bear to throw out.
    • In "Run, Candace, Run", Candace uses a pair of super-speed boots her brothers invented to be in two places at once. Unfortunately, she puts on a pair of unstable prototype boots and ends up running at breakneck speed when she tries to go anywhere.
  • The Simpsons: In "Future-Drama", Homer Simpson owns the first hover car ever made. It scratches the streets it's driven through.
  • In Young Justice (2010), Superboy's predecessor Match was Cadmus' first attempt to clone Superman. They had trouble cloning Kryptonian genetic material, and the missing sequences in the DNA created a clone that had all of Superman's powers but is feral and mindlessly destructive. Superboy was created with human DNA (specifically Lex Luthor's) filling in the missing sequences. He doesn't have all of Superman's powers (no flight or heat vision), but he's sane.

    Real Life 
  • When doing or making anything for the first time, it generally takes a few tries or some time to work out the kinks and bugs and what-not.
    • So usually that — the first phonograph record worked right the first time. Edison's reaction? "I was always afraid of things that worked the first time."
  • The first British tanks weren't just slower, less armored, less reliable, and less lethal than modern ones — the crew was housed in the hull along with the engine and lacked proper ventilation. It could be so hot inside (a common figure being up to 50°C) that numerous tank operations ended prematurely because its crew was too sick to continue, or even rendered unconscious. Fuel was also housed internally, making any ignition of it a death sentence for the crew. Even rounds that failed to pierce the tank's armor was liable to be knocked around into gaps in the armour and put shrapnel inside, forcing crews to be equipped with protective leather-and-mail masks to protect their faces.
  • Car technology:
    • Electric cars. First discussed, and some designs built decades ago. In fact electric cars have been around since the late 19th century, but the internal combustion engine offered superior performance while taking up less space than the early batteries, and thus it was most of a century before serious thought was even given to trying again. Years later, the technology is still largely considered in the early "feasible" state due to the push for eco-friendly Green Tech cars. Note the quotation marks around "feasible". To make an all-electric vehicle requires bulky, and heavy, Lithium Ion battery packs, which in turn often takes five to ten hours or more to fully charge, often require specialized power outlets or plugs, and have very limited range before needing to recharge compared to traditional gasoline- or diesel-fueled cars. Add on the fact that there is a very likely chance the power being supplied to recharge the batteries comes from a not so eco-friendly power plant or generator source, the batteries themselves currently have a limited life-span (approximately five years) and are incredibly expensive to replace, essentially ruining the whole point of an electric-powered car.
      • Hybrids however, have been more successful due to mixing electric with traditionally fueled cars, often using the car's normal operations to charge the electrics, extending fuel economy, and kicking in the engine only when extra power is needed.
  • Prototype airplanes are often this. A fair job description of the test pilot is, "person who straps into a potentially fatally flawed airplane and tries their best to make it kill them."
    • A relatively mild case of this was the first F-15 Eagle. The prototype airframe had square-tipped wings and a conventional horizontal stabilizer. The first flight revealed unacceptable levels of buffet on both, making McDonnell-Douglas modify the former by clipping the wingtips and the latter by adding a dogtooth to the stabilizer, giving the F-15 its two most distinctive features.
  • The first trains to reach the then "unheard of" speed of 300 km/h encountered a problem called "hunting oscillation," which essentially means the wheels swayed dangerously due to small imperfections the engineers at the time did not even know existed. With 21st-century technology, such problems can be simulated on a computer and eliminated in the planning stage, and trains doing 320 km/h in revenue runs are called Tuesday in France or Japan. However, the experience (or lack thereof) with early prototypes made a World Bank credit to Japan for what would ultimately become the Shinkansen conditional on the top speed being lowered to 210 km/h.
  • The earliest German submarines paled in comparison to their successors. They emitted clouds of smoke and took nearly ten minutes to dive. Of course, the Germans being the tech masters they are, they were quick to refine their designs.
    • The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink another ship in combat, was made by the Confederacy in the American Civil War. The original crew died on a test run when it sank. It was salvaged, and the second crew (along with its designer) died similarly on another test run. Its third crew is believed to have been sunk and killed because it was too close to the torpedo explosion that sank its Union target.
    • The K-Class submarines of the British Royal Navy were built during the First World War and used steam turbines, which allowed them to travel at impressive speeds for a submarine, being designed to screen ahead of British fleets and attack the flanks of enemy fleets. They were very problematic and accident-prone, however, and steam engines in submarines would not gain favor again until the advent of nuclear submarines during the Cold War.
  • James "The Hacksmith" Hobson built a suit of Powered Armor in his garage. It lacked the ability to turn properly until Universal joints were placed into the hip assemblies.
    • Similarly, his Flying like Iron Man prototypes are pretty lacklustre, requiring a StuntWire rig to get off the ground.
  • During the making of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first model made of the Enterprise-D was a six-foot behemoth that could only be filmed while lying on its back because its saucer section was so ridiculously top-heavy. (Ever wondered why there were so many shots filmed of its underside? That's why.) It also made using the saucer separation feature impractical because of it. This was because Industrial Light & Magic was busy at the time they needed the model built, and when they found the time, they were given that. They later made a four-foot model which improved the balance and allowed shots from the top.
  • King's Dominion in Doswell, Virginia suffered with this with the roller coasters Volcano: The Blast Coaster and Hypersonic XLC. Both were bought straight from the developers and suffered problems due to their uniqueness and no time to iron out the flaws. Hypersonic XLC would close after 6 years, though Volcano would last for nearly 20.